University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics

Faye Conte

Faye Conte, M.S. Candidate, '11

B.A. 2006 Clark University, Worcester, MA

Areas of interest

sustainable agriculture, food systems, transportation

Contact Information

Office:004 Morrill Hall

Thesis Topic:

Transportation and built environment influences on meal patterns.

Undergraduate and Professional Background:

I graduated in 2006 with BA degrees in International Development & Social Change and Spanish from Clark University in Worcester, MA. I then moved to Seattle, WA and worked in fundraising and development for a regional sustainability research center, Sightline Institute, and then for a state-wide wilderness and wildlife conservation nonprofit, Conservation Northwest.

Graduate Courses:

Fall 2009
CDAE 295 Local Community Initiatives
CDAE 354 Advanced Microeconomics
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
STAT 201 Statistical Analysis via Computers

Spring 2010
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 351 Research Methods
NFS295 Directed Study - Visioning a Sustainable
New England Food System under Prof. Amy Trubek
PA323 Nonprofit Administration

Fall 2010
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
NR 343 Fundamentals of GIS
CDAE 391 Thesis Research Credits
TRC312 Critical Issues of Transportation in the 21st Century

Spring 2011
CDAE 391 Theis Research
CDAE 397 Comprehensive Exam
CDAE 392 Transportation Systems Seminar

Funding Grad School:

I was not funded for the 2009-10 academic year, but worked at the Center for Rural Studies as a work study student throughout the year and interned with the state Senate Agriculture Committee in the spring semester. I will be funded as a transportation scholar through the Transportation Research Center in the 2010-11 academic year, which is a 20 hour per week research assistantship.

On Customizing Grad School to Fit Personal Interests:

I came to the CDAE program for two reasons: to learn more about sustainable agriculture and local food systems and to build marketable skills. I've taken courses in many different departments to build skills, from nonprofit administration, to research, to GIS. There aren't many graduate level courses specifically on food systems, but there are many professors doing interesting work within the field, so I've tailored my assignments to my interests, signed on to any project or opportunity I could that interested me, and worked with other students and professor Amy Trubek to create a directed study envisioning a sustainable New England food system for 2050.

Words of Wisdom to Inquiring/Incoming MS Students:

The interdisciplinary nature and flexibility of this program are what make CDAE so appealing, but it's also easy to get lost in the options. There is no set coursework and research path to take, and it's your job to mold the program to fit your interests and goals. Have a clear understanding of what you want to get out of the program and keep this understanding in mind as you navigate through your first year. However, don't feel like you have to have your thesis figured by the end of the first year either. Search out projects to work on and professors to work with; say yes to everything you can. Don't be afraid to look outside the department for courses, projects, professors, and ideas. Work hard to get funding; it makes access to professors and projects much easier. Also, spend time in the building doing your work; talking with your fellow students about your ideas and interests is just as important as meeting with your professors. This program is very research-focused; be absolutely sure you like research and are ready to take on a thesis before entering the program.

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